When to Get Help for OCD: 5 Signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder affects more people than you might think. With over 2 million adults in the US living with this condition, it’s important for people living with this condition to understand that help is available. OCD is a mental health issue that can debilitate daily life. So, assistance is vital to understanding how to manage the symptoms of this condition. But, if people don’t even know when to get help, they may not ever reach out to the right professionals and get the help they need to live out lives of mental wellbeing. Fortunately, recognizing specific signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder may help individuals living with this condition and their family members to understand that they may need help.

What is OCD?

Before you can understand if you or a loved one is experiencing the signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, it helps to understand what this condition is. OCD is a mental health disorder that’s characterized by both obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. People living with OCD experience unwanted and uncontrollable obsessive thoughts. And, as a result of trying to control these thoughts, compulsively act out particular behaviors. Performing compulsive behaviors doesn’t provide relief from these obsessions, but can provide a reduction in anxiety, which perpetuates these behaviors.

Identifying the Various Signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

For those wondering if they or a loved one is living with OCD and determining whether or not they need professional help, identifying the signs of this disorder can help. In most cases, identifying the signs of OCD means being able to recognize obsessive thoughts, emotions, or images. Additionally, it means recognizing the compulsive behaviors that accompany them in attempt to manage them. However, it’s important to know that not all signs and symptoms of OCD are prevalent in every person with an OCD diagnosis. And, that both obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors can differ from person to person who has OCD diagnoses.

Repetitive and Even Unnecessary Cleaning

A common compulsive behavior that many people with OCD exhibit is cleaning. Cleaning habits of those with OCD can include cleaning oneself (such as repetitive hand washing or showering). Or, cleaning objects or environments. Those with these compulsive behaviors may clean even after they or the object/environment they’re cleaning is already clean. And, will clean until they feel that their intrusive thoughts or feelings have subsided.

The Repeating of Actions and Sayings

Doing and saying things repeatedly are often compulsive behaviors for people living with OCD. Some examples of these repetitive sayings and actions can include counting steps or objects, saying specific phrases over and over again, and turning lights on and off. For these individuals, performing these tasks and repeating these sayings are an attempt to appease feelings of doom. So, they think doing these behaviors or saying these phrases keep bad things from happening.

Organizing to Perfection

It’s certainly not a bad thing to be organized. But, having a need to be organized or be excessively organized can be a sign of OCD. For those with this compulsion, organizing can be a means to overcoming anxiety. And, having things “out of place” or not specifically organized the way they want them to is a trigger for anxiety.

Treatment for Individuals and Families Struggling with OCD

Do you find your life being affected by some of the behaviors or obsessions listed above? If so, these examples may be signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Additionally, these behaviors and thoughts may be debilitating to your daily life, relationships, and careers. Fortunately, treatment can help in managing the symptoms of OCD. Plus, provide you with helpful tools you’ll need to structure a life that’s of mental wellbeing, free from the obsessions and compulsive behaviors you deal with on a daily basis.